THE PIR RATION
In 1964, Conrad “Ben” Baker, Deputy Director of the US Army Counter Insurgency Support Office (CISO) developed a portable meal ration for indigenous personnel under PROJECT PIR (Packet, Indigenous Ration).
The precooked then dehydrated rations were issued in a green foil bag and came in five varieties: Menu 1 (FSN 8970-J55-0010) beef, Menu 2 (FSN 8970-J55-0020) Fish and Squid, Menu 3 (FSN 8970-J55-0030) Shrimp and Mushroom, Menu 4 (FSN 8970-J55-0040) Mutton and Menu 5 (FSN 8970-J55-0050) Sausage.
The main meal portion was supplemented with rice that had been laced with vitamin B-1 and B-2 before it was sealed in a clear, pliable plastic bag. The ration also had condiments such as dried fruit and peppers, soup powder, gum, candies, tea powder, sugar and a daily vitamin.
Veteran’s stated they would mix the main meal with the rice, fill the rice bag with water to a pre-marked line, season with the peppers, and then fold the top of the bag several times before securing with a rubber band. The serving would then be placed into the pants cargo pocket and within a couple hours the individual’s body heat would help rehydrate the ration.